Sector News

Affimed lands big, backloaded immunotherapy deal with Genentech

August 28, 2018
Life sciences

Genentech is handing over $96 million (€82 million) in upfront and near-term payments to work with Affimed on NK and T cell engagers. The deal features $5 billion in milestones and royalties that could land in Affimed’s bank account if the immunotherapies succeed.

Affimed has built its business upon a platform that generates multispecific NK and T cell engagers. The drugs are designed to redirect innate and adaptive immune cells and thereby orchestrate attacks on tumors. For example, Affimed’s lead candidate AFM13 is a bispecific antibody that binds to CD30 on tumors and to CD16A to recruit and activate NK cells.

Germany’s Affimed has struggled to catch the wave of interest in immuno-oncology drugs, causing its market cap to slip below $100 million. But Roche’s Genentech likes the look of the platform and has reignited interest in the company.

“This collaboration is based on Affimed’s innate immune cell drug discovery and development expertise and our team’s deep understanding of cancer immunology,” Roche partnering chief James Sabry, M.D., Ph.D., said in the announcement.

In return for its $96 million outlay, Genentech has secured the chance to work with Affimed on the discovery- and research-stage testing of immune cell engagers. Affimed is contributing candidates generated by its platform to the alliance and agreeing to work on multiple solid and hematological tumor targets.

Once a candidate advances beyond late-stage research, Genentech will take sole control and guide it through clinical development and, potentially, commercialization. As it does so, the Roche subsidiary will hand over a growing slice of the $5 billion in milestones and royalties.

The validation of Genentech and potential for the deal to add significantly to Affimed’s coffers has triggered a surge in investor interest in the German biotech. Shares in Affimed were up more than 140% in premarket trading.

By Nick Paul Taylor

Source: Fierce Biotech

comments closed

Related News

October 2, 2022

GSK names Julie Brown, a 25-year AstraZeneca veteran, its first woman CFO

Life sciences

Five years ago, GSK made headlines when it hired Emma Walmsley to become the first woman to run a major pharmaceutical company. Now the Big Pharma has brought in another woman to control the company’s finances. Julie Brown will be GSK’s next chief financial officer. Brown, currently the chief operating and financial officer at fashion and beauty brand Burberry Group, is set to replace Iain Mackay.

October 2, 2022

Moderna creates new launch preparation role, poaches Novartis exec as manufacturing lead

Life sciences

Moderna created a new role responsible for “building out the company’s organization to support its growing pipeline.” Starting first thing 2023, Juan Andres, Moderna’s manufacturing head, will step into this new role under the title president of strategic partnerships and enterprise expansion, the company said Thursday.

October 2, 2022

Torrent Pharma to acquire Curatio for $245.16m

Life sciences

The latest takeover is anticipated to boost the presence of Torrent in the dermatology segment. Indian company Torrent Pharmaceuticals has signed a definitive agreement for the complete acquisition of Curatio Healthcare for $245.16m (Rs20bn).